Thursday, September 29, 2011
I was so blessed and encouraged by today's daily devotional from Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" and wanted to share it with you.
May it bless you too!
1 Corinthians 9:16-
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
"We are inclined to forget the deeply spiritual and supernatural touch of God. If you are able to tell exactly where you were when you received the call of God and can explain all about it, I question whether you have truly been called. The call of God does not come like that; it is much more supernatural. The realization of the call in a person’s life may come like a clap of thunder or it may dawn gradually. But however quickly or slowly this awareness comes, it is always accompanied with an undercurrent of the supernatural—something that is inexpressible and produces a “glow.” At any moment the sudden awareness of this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life may break through—”I chose you . . .” (John 15:16). The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and sanctification. You are not called to preach the gospel because you are sanctified; the call to preach the gospel is infinitely different. Paul describes it as a compulsion that was placed upon him.
If you have ignored, and thereby removed, the great supernatural call of God in your life, take a review of your circumstances. See where you have put your own ideas of service or your particular abilities ahead of the call of God. Paul said, “. . . woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” He had become aware of the call of God, and his compulsion to “preach the gospel” was so strong that nothing else was any longer even a competitor for his strength.
If a man or woman is called of God, it doesn’t matter how difficult the circumstances may be. God orchestrates every force at work for His purpose in the end. If you will agree with God’s purpose, He will bring not only your conscious level but also all the deeper levels of your life, which you yourself cannot reach, into perfect harmony."
May we stay close to His heart and never second-guess His calling in/on our life!
Monday, September 26, 2011
I have just finished reading a wonderful book titled "Crazy Love- Overwhelmed by a Relentless God" by Francis Chan (which I would HIGHLY recommend to everyone who desires to grow in the their faith). It is a culmination of all that God has been teaching me and asking of me these last few months...
So what's with the title of the post? The reason being is, each of us have obsessions, but how much different would we be and how differently would we live our lives if our obsession was Jesus (this I believe is the prime objective of the book)? There was a chapter (ch 8, in particular) that convicted me the most concerning this question...
Obsessed: To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic
Profile of the obsessed-
People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.
People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress.
People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some war or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him. (1 John 2:4-6, Matthew 16:24-26)
Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don't make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. (Luke 14:25-35, Matthew 7:13-23, 8:18-22, Revelation 3:1-6)
A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be "humble enough", and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known. (Matthew 5:16)
People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people. (Matthew 13:44, John 15:8)
People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world. (James 2:14-26)
A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity. They are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.
A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.
People who are obsessed are raw with God. They do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don't put it on for God. He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God's Word throughout the day because they know that 40 minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't depend on circumstances or environment. It is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God. (James 1:2-4)
A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying "Thank you!" to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God.
How convicting! This has brought me to my knees, because I can honestly say that this does not define my life. But oh how I wish it would!
May we purpose in our hearts as Daniel did, to not defile ourselves with the tainted things of this world and may Jesus become the obsession of our heart through daily intimate communion with Him. Nothing less will do.
Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord,
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Oh my dear friends,
My heart is overwhelmed when I think about the way we are relentlessly pursued by our Lover, King Jesus.
Oh God, You are my God. Earnestly I seek You, my soul thirsts for You, my flesh faints for You as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live, in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.
~ Psalm 63: 1-5
"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee. I long to be filled with longing, I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up My love, My fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long."
~ A.W. Tozer
May we fall deeper in love with Jesus,
Sunday, September 4, 2011
As many of you know, my hearts desire is to be a missionary once I have completed my training to be a Physical Therapist Assistant, well, there is one organization that encourages me to pursue my missionary calling and it is Travel the Road, and here is something from their website that really encouraged me today...I guess it is my missionary heart, but I pray that this blesses you as well:
"A missionary is someone in whom the Holy Spirit has brought about this realization: “You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). To say, “I am not my own,” is to have reached a high point in my spiritual stature. The true nature of that life in actual everyday confusion is evidenced by the deliberate giving up of myself to another Person through a sovereign decision, and that Person is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit interprets and explains the nature of Jesus to me to make me one with my Lord, not that I might simply become a trophy for His showcase. Our Lord never sent any of His disciples out on the basis of what He had done for them. It was not until after the resurrection, when the disciples had perceived through the power of the Holy Spirit who Jesus really was, that He said, “Go” (Matthew 28:19; also see Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8). If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). He was not saying that this person cannot be good and upright, but that he cannot be someone over whom Jesus can write the word Mine. Any one of the relationships our Lord mentions in this verse can compete with our relationship with Him. I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself, but if that is the case, then, Jesus said, “[You] cannot be My disciple.” This does not mean that I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be entirely His. Our Lord makes His disciple His very own possession, becoming responsible for him. “. . . you shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). The desire that comes into a disciple is not one of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The missionary’s secret is truly being able to say, “I am His, and He is accomplishing His work and His purposes through me.”
Be entirely His!